Tuesday 28 July 2015

Orange Creams

I love books, and I love cookbooks, and our house is overflowing with piles of them on every surface.  Does this stop me buying more?  No, of course not.  Don't you just love that Japanese term tsundoku, meaning having piles of (unread) books everywhere?  I really like to say it with a Japanese accent, and a huge groan as though I have just been disembowelled with my Samurai sword. 

I have made a new book purchase recently - Recipes from an Edwardian Country House by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall (yes the mum of Hugh, the curly-headed TV chef).  I have only had a quick breeze through it so far, but I have seen some interesting recipes in there awaiting my attention.  I found this recipe which is actually for peppermint creams, but as Mr P. told me he doesn't like peppermint (huh?! another mystery dislike without the memo) I have turned them into orange creams instead.

Makes about 2 dozen


450g. pure icing sugar 
1 egg white
50 mls double cream
orange extract or oil to taste - I used 2.5 tsp of extract
10 drops of pink and 6 drops of yellow natural food colouring - as per the instructions on the packet (I used Queens Natural Extracts for food colouring) 
1/4-1/2 cup extra icing sugar to roll out the paste
150g. dark bitter chocolate
handful of cacao nibs or finely diced citrus peel


Throw the icing sugar, egg white and cream into a food processor (or place in a medium bowl and beat with a wooden spoon)
Blitz till it comes together into a paste
Add the orange extract and the colouring and blitz again
You may wish to add more (or less) orange extract and more colouring - (Jane says to add the extract "until it tastes right")
Dust your work surface with the extra icing sugar
Spoon the paste out onto it and roll it out - I didn't measure it but I have a feeling I may have gone up to 1/2 cup extra as the paste was very moist and sticky (I did pick a rainy day to do this)
Keep throwing on the icing sugar till you have a firm(er) paste
Roll or pat it out to 1/2 cm thickness
Cut out shapes or rounds
Place on wire racks and dry for at least 12 hours (depending on the amount of moisture in the air)

I was afraid they would fall through the wires, so I placed them on baking paper for about 6 hours till they had dried out a fair bit.  Then I took off the baking paper and put them back on the racks to finish drying overnight.  The next day I melted some dark chocolate and spread it over the tops of the creams.  I also sprinkled on some cacao nibs for a bit of decoration and crunch.

Jane's method does not include the food processor - it is an Edwardian country house after all:) -  but I figured it would be worth a try.  It certainly was easy, though I suspect it may have made the paste a bit damper than with a wooden spoon, or maybe not!  Jane does not use food colouring either so her creams would be white. But I like the look of my pinky/orangey beauties.


blitzed to a smooth, orangey paste

scoop into a bowl to test for colour and flavour (mysteriously the paste turned pinker as it dried)  

pour the paste onto the sugar-dusted work surface  

throw on more icing sugar if needed  

dust the rim of a small bowl or cutter to cut out the shapes

all cut out and ready for overnight drying!

next day - time to coat the creams in chocolate 

melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 60 seconds (yes I put cream in it - big mistake!) 

spread the melted chocolate (sans cream) over the tops of the nubbly little darlings   

sprinkle on the cacao nibs (or diced citrus peel)  

ready to eat!

Yes they are very sweet so you will only want to eat a small one at a time.  I suggest putting them in the fridge for an hour or 2 to firm up before eating.  And yes I had meant to actually dip them into melted chocolate, but I added a tiny amount of cream when I melted it and it went grainy.  My mistake!  So next time, I will melt just the chocolate and dip them into it with a fork.  Hey chocolate is chocolate, so that can't be bad.  And these are still good, says Mr P:)  

(you can see that Doodling book from Mr P. was a useful gift)


  1. These look very nice Sherry! I love that the Japanese have a term for everything. I recently read one which was to ruin oneself with food! :P

    1. ruining oneself with food? yep that's me for sure lorraine!

  2. I love anything chocolate orange, so these sound great! :)

  3. OH, I love that Japanese term! So true of me. And I have ruined myself with food too, well, at least ruined my girlish figure.

    1. ha ha:)) the Japanese have so many great words for concepts as do the Germans! mmm something in that I think.

  4. I adore books too - Sherry - years ago my brother and his then young family came to stay with us in Sydney and one of the first things one of the kids said was "Dad, this is a house of books!" Have never forgotten it and always loved it - love the word tsundoku - must start using it:-) Oh, the un-notified dislikes nearly drives me crazy - feta was a recent one here!

    1. it is an excellent word rachel. yes isn't it weird how the dislikes suddenly pop up out of nowhere? :)

  5. Wish I had to read all the books in my overflowing book cases. I have cook books that I've barely ever opened since I got them. I don't buy them anymore now.

    I wonder if the Edwardians would have lovely our modern cooking conviniences ... hmmmmm

    As usual, a yummy spread :-) #CommentLuv

    1. i was watching lucy worsley's doco on kitchens last night; she was surprised that the Edwardians actually had primitive (mechanical) kitchen food processors (and I don't mean the scullery maid:) as was I. how clever they were! thanks for visiting.

  6. These look great Sherry, I can only imagine how good they taste! Yes I'm a cook book freak with a couple of hundred books...a great addiction to have.

    1. oh yes i am a bibliophile from way back. i just can't stop - i am so addicted to new books. and i keep the library busy too.


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